Scorching weekend weather on the way

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Maricopans like to beat the summer Arizona heat by hunkering down in their homes and cranking up the air conditioning, our poll results show.

Summer doesn’t officially begin for two weeks, but summertime heat will arrive this weekend with a bang.

The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for much of southern Arizona including Pinal County as temperatures in the area could reach 115°F in parts of the Valley this weekend. The warning for Maricopa is in effect from 10 a.m. Thursday through 10 p.m. Sunday.

Temperatures in town are expected to hit 109° today and tomorrow, then rise to 111° Friday, 112° Saturday and 113° Sunday. Overnight lows are expected to be in the low 80s. The heat will dissipate Monday with a forecast high of 106°.

According to Weather2Visit.com, the average high temperature in June in Maricopa is 104, with a low of 69. June is the third-hottest month, behind July and August.

The Arizona Department of Health Services is offering precautions Valley residents can take to prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke:

  • Drink plenty of water. DHS recommends people who stay mostly indoors all day should drink two liters of water per day. Those who spend time outdoors should drink 1 to 2 liters per hour that they are outdoors and drink even if they do not feel thirsty.
  • Dress for the heat by wearing lightweight, light-colored clothing that will reflect away some of the sun’s energy. Wearing a hat or using an umbrella also are recommended, as is applying sunscreen to exposed skin.
  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals and avoid foods that are high in protein which increase metabolic heat.
  • Monitory those at high risk. Check on friends, family, and neighbors for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.
  • Avoid strenuous activity, or if it can’t be avoided, do it during the coolest part of the day, between 4 to 7 a.m.
  • Stay indoors whenever possible.
  • Take regular breaks if working outdoors and find a cool place. If you recognize that you, or someone else, are showing symptoms of a heat-related illness, stop activity and find a cool place.